mobile

#FollowFriday: Robleh Jama from Tiny Hearts

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It has been a pleasure getting to know Robleh over the past couple of years.  Most recently, I have had the opportunity to sit at the feet of this humble giant to learn how he has launched 3 consecutive successful mobile products.

Who is Robleh Jama? He is the founder & CEO of Tiny Hearts which is an award-winning software studio focused on creating beautiful, playful and useful apps.

What has he built?

  1. Pocket Zoo – a virtual zoo with live animal cams. Pocket Zoo went on to become a #1 Education app and a Top 50 Overall app.
  2. InstaMatch – The Instagram Game.  A popular memory game that has been featured on TechCrunch, TUAW, Swiss Miss, Coolhunting.com and by Apple as a What’s Hot & Staff Favourite app.
  3. Most recently released Wake, a beautiful and intuitive alarm for iPhone. Currently a top utility app on the App Store.

I had the opportunity to capture an interview with Robleh on camera. It’s a very insightful conversation. I hope you enjoy watching and listening:

Live from BlackBerry Live in Orlando: #BBLive

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For the past few days I’ve been working from Orlando while attending the BlackBerry Live annual conference. While drumming up interest and business for our social media agency, I’ve also been contributing to Canada’s source for business and technology news.

Highlights:

Alicia Keys. She might have stolen the show to be honest. At the Opening Keynote she announced an initiative aimed at empowering, educating and supporting women in STEM. The same day she hosted a panel on Women in Tech that was filled to capacity. Then in the evening she presided over a concert experience like no other.

BlackBerry Z10. I’ve been playing with the device since Monday afternoon and I’m really impressed. My primary device is a Nokia Windows Phone 8 so maybe comparing the two is not fair. But I’ve seen Android and iPhone users fall in love with BlackBerry’s newest device all week long. The apps are strong and the device is sleek. I know it’s probably not perfect but it’s a step in the right direction for the smartphone innovator.

BBM. The future is bright. Not just for the popular messaging system on the BlackBerry 10 devices. Watch for BBM to show up on your iPhone and Android devices this summer in a planned rollout. And also watch for BBM Channels: the newest social network.

BlackBerry.  When the keynote began with CEO and President Thorsten Heins announcing the new Q5 for emerging markets, I will be honest, my heart sank a bit. However, after digesting the full Opening Keynote I came away excited for the future of BlackBerry. Firstly, ignoring emerging markets is not smart from a business standpoint and BlackBerry is establishing itself as a leader here. Second, BlackBerry’s QNX and BlackBerry 10 is not only about smartphones. It’s about powering the whole internet and the devices and products that connect to it: smartphones, cars, homes, businesses, etc. Third, I mentioned it above but it’s worth repeating: BlackBerry supporting the case of increasing women’s role in leadership and technology is overdue in the industry as a whole. With BlackBerry carrying the torch, watch for other companies to follow suit.

I have embedded a number of links in the post to some articles and videos I produced during my time here at BlackBerry Live. Feel free to click on them for extra content.

Disclosure: As a contributor for itbusiness.ca I was invited to Orlando by BlackBerry and have been their guest during my stay.

Windows Phone 8: CBC News

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I presently am using a Windows Phone 8 powered Nokia smartphone.

One of my most used apps is courtesy of “The Corporation”. The CBC News app is my go to resource for all international, national and local news.

The stories are updated on a timely basis and include the following sections:

  • Top Stories
  • Regional
  • Photo Galleries
  • Videos
  • World News
  • National News
  • Politics
  • Business
  • Health
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Technology & Science
  • Offbeat
  • Sports

The app was reportedly developed in partnership with Toronto-area dev shop, Digiflare. If you’re interested in this must-have news app you can find more information and download instructions here.

Windows Phone 8: Oreo Skies

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Oreo is on a roll.  After their recent “win” with their Super Bowl blackout post Oreo is continuing to impress me. Their most recent success is their new app for users of Windows 8 OS on the Nokia Lumia device.

Introducing Oreo Skies.

As one of the few users of the Windows Phone 8 platform I am always searching for new apps. Sometimes I’m looking for apps that I’m used to on from Android or iOS platforms. At other times, I’m looking for new apps that I’ve never used. And that’s how I found Oreo Skies. Most of the time, I could care less for corporate sponsored apps. This time was different. It may be because I am a huge fan of science. Or maybe because I’m a father of a 7 year old who loves discovering things even more than I do.

Here’s what the Oreo Skies app does:

Celebrate the “kid within” by pointing your Lumia at the sky, no matter what time of day or night, and explore a map of stars and constellations where you can message with your friends via Facebook. If you post the most messages during a lunar cycle, you get to “own the moon” and post something for the entire Oreo Skies network to see. Tap shooting stars to unlock hidden messages and special offers.

While the Facebook integration is weak from a user experience standpoint it is still a very interesting app. What makes it compelling to me is that I can point my smartphone up into the sky and actually know the know the names of the constellations I’m looking at. Even when I’m inside or its a cloudy night I can still know the names of the heavenly bodies above.

Oreo Skies Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8: TTC transit guru

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One of the most used apps on my Windows Phone 8 is TTC transit guru. Made by Ikko systems Inc., this app has saved me time and also lowered my stress levels ever since I downloaded it.

TTC transit guru uses the real-time GPS systems onboard all the buses and streetcars to inform the user of the arrival times of any TTC vehicle at any stop (minus the subways).

Another feature I enjoy is the ability to save my most frequent stops. This allows me, with the tap of just a couple of icons to know when my next bus is coming.

Here are some additional features:

– An amazingly clean and simple interface (Metro really is a more enjoyable mobile OS than any other I’ve used before).
– Find your location on street map and your nearest stops
– Slide map to select any stop
– Real time GPS arrival times of next 5 buses
– Search route list and all stops along route
– Pin your favourite stops to your home screen (Another amazing feature of Metro)

What’s your favourite Windows Phone 8 app?